Now that we have 2 beautiful kids through the wonderful world of adoption, I find that reflection on the past and a look toward the future is a very beneficial exercise for us. There are many more layers to adoption than I thought when we started this process 4 years ago. I decided to put an acrostic together in hopes that it would outline the important concepts of this multi-faceted process.
A -- Adjustment
It might go without saying that having a new child in the family is an adjustment but more than that, the entire process of adoption is a life adjustment. At the beginning it is all about classes, books and money. Then there are the meetings with the social workers to determine the path of the adoption (domestic, international, ethnicity of the child, and other parameters.) Ultimately no matter what path you take to prepare for an adoption, the biggest adjustment is the match. It is without a doubt the largest adjustment that we have made in 19 years of marriage. With the paperwork process and the classes it is easy to be detached. But when you are introduced to a prospective birth mother, it is a beautiful adjustment that is almost difficult to put into words unless you have experienced it. And the adjustment was not any more or less significant with Eliana than with Patrick. Depending on how open the adoption is the adjustments will continue for a long time. Personally, I wouldn't want it any other way. I have come to realize that adoption is not "second best" in God's eyes. It is not something to do if and only if you can't have "your own" kids. It is near and dear to His heart and it is put in the same place as natural child birth. God gave us these children no matter the path, just as he has granted others with biological children. And, in the end, they are all God's kids.